The Burlington County Detention Center has joined a select group of correctional facilities to receive national accreditation for meeting high standards in correctional health care.
The National Commission on Correctional Health Care accredited the facility after performing a rigorous on-site review of the jail in January. The facility received a 100% score, meeting all 37 of the applicable “essential standards”, plus all 18 additional “important standards”, the commission reported.
It marks the first time the Department of Corrections had sought accreditation from the commission for the jail.
“Our County has long been a leader in protecting public health and public safety and our commitment to preserving the health and wellbeing of all residents extends to those individuals who are incarcerated at Burlington County Detention Center,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “The detention center’s successful accreditation reflects that commitment and is a testament to the diligence and professionalism of our County Corrections team, including the department’s leadership, corrections officers and support staff.”
Burlington County Detention Center opened in 1989 and the Burlington County Department of Corrections employs more than 160 people.
The National Commission on Correctional Health Care was formed in the 1970s after an American Medical Association study of jails found inadequate and disorganized health services. In collaboration with the AMA and other organizations, the Commission was formed and became an independent nonprofit organization.
The Commission’s accreditation program is voluntary but requires facilities to undergo a rigorous professional assessment that included an onsite survey by a team of experienced physicians and experts in correctional health care. During the survey, the team surveyed the facility for compliance with jail-specific standards in several areas, such as patient care and treatment, health promotion, safety and disease prevention, governance and administration, personnel and training, special needs and services and medical-legal issues.
In addition to the detention center’s accreditation, Department of Corrections Warden Matthew Leith successfully completed the commission’s certification program.
“Accreditation was a voluntary process, but our county detention center’s outstanding results shows how our Corrections Department goes above and beyond to preserve the health and safety of those in custody,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Tom Pullion. “Our board salutes our entire corrections staff and leadership for their work and we also thank the Burlington County Health Department for working closely with them and assisting with the delivery of high-quality care.”